Lido Key is one the beautiful barrier islands off the coast of Sarasota, Florida.
It is surrounded by Longboat Key to the north, Bird Key and St. Armands Key to the east and Siesta Key to the south. Not bad neighbors to have if you are looking for a vacation destination spot.
Lido Key is also just minutes from downtown Sarasota where you can shop at ultra chic boutiques, wander from gallery to gallery and enjoy mainstream and independent films, as well as live theater, opera, symphony and the performing arts.
And you usually are never more than 20 minutes from the beach on Lido Key to Sarasota’s downtown.
At its heart, Lido Key, which is located off of the Gulf of Mexico, is the home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as a woodland trail at South Lido Park. If you are a tourist, you can choose from a variety of luxury hotels or beach home rentals. If you are a native, you can drive, bike and, depending on your athletic ability, even walk to the beach from downtown Sarasota.
As mentioned, Lido Key has several sand and surf locations, including North Lido Beach, which is just ¼ of a mile from the upscale and very chic St. Armands Circle off of John Ringling Boulevard.
With its pristine natural state and dunes, North Lido Beach is the home to a variety of nesting shore birds. There are no amenities at this beach, which has limited parking and no lifeguards on watch.
Nature lovers can enjoy birding, fishing, swimming and unpaved trails at North Lido Beach, which is open year round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Lido Beach, 400 Ben Franklin Drive, just a half-mile southwest of St. Armands Circle, is one of the more popular tourist locations in the area. If you don’t live in the area, you have many different accommodations from to choose, including hotels, motels and seasonal condos for rent.
In contrast to North Lido Beach, Lido Beach, which is a beach paradise with more than 3,000 feet of nature’s own white sand, has amenities including rest rooms, concessions, gift shop, playground, 400-car parking lot, heated swimming pool, outdoor showers and much more. Lifeguards are on duty year round at Lido Beach, which is open year round from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m..
Lido Beach is also very proud of its Seabreeze Concession or Lido Beach Restaurant because you are not limited to the typical hamburgers and hot dogs menus. Your food is cooked to order and you can buy beer or wine. You can also pre-order your food by calling 941-388-0400. Remember, no glass containers are allowed on Sarasota beaches.
Lido Beach, which is usually not as crowded as Siesta Key Beach, gets thumbs up from beachgoers.
“Wonderful beach, only minutes away from St Armand’s. White fine sand, peaceful waves, amazing sunsets. Dig your toes in the sand, plop yourself right next to the water and watch flocks of birds and people walk or fly by. I can sit here for hours listening to whispers of the waves, bird calls and watching sun dipping into horizon. Quiet, relaxing and just beautiful,” one beach lover on Yelp wrote.
Another Lido Beach fan wrote on Yelp: “The snack bar at the pavilion has some great food and people from all over the place for the lobster rolls on Sunday. There’s always live music at the pavilion on Sunday afternoons and you’ll get the chance to dance with the locals.”
South Lido Nature Park, also known as Ted Sperling Park, is unique in that it is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Big Pass, Sarasota Bay and Brushy Bayou. You have beautiful views of the Sarasota skyline and the gulf from the southern beach portion of the park. If you bring a picnic lunch, you can eat at a picnic area shaded by Australian Pines. s
To the north end South Lido Park, you can take a walk on a nature trail with beautiful vistas and boardwalks. The park’s amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, cooking grilles, playground equipment, volleyball court, nature trails, observation tower and decks and a canoe/kayak launch. Lifeguards are only watching out for you from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Lido Key is a great location to spend a day, a weekend, a two-week vacation or live year round if you like the sun, surf and sand.